Frances Bula header image 2

Massive project, 26-storey tower at Broadway/Kingsway will remake SOMA

October 25th, 2010 · 83 Comments

While everyone is fighting over towers in the West End and in Marpole, I discovered almost by accident last week that there’s a significant new development planned for Main and Kingsway when I dropped in to the urban design panel.

Unbeknownst to I think many people, the much-praised firm of Acton Ostry has been designing a huge development for the entire block that includes the former strip of stores on Broadway that burned down on Christmas Day last year and the Cantu/Living Space/Midland Appliances cluster in the former Jantzen building on Kingsway.

That will all come down (surprised me to hear the Jantzen building has no heritage protection but apparently not) for a 26-storey tower with townhouses and retail wrapped around the base, along with 10,000 square feet of artists’ spaces that will run along the 10th Avenue (bike lane) side. The Watson Street/back alley will be the parking entrance.

In total: 206 market units and 62 rental units under the city’s sometimes-controversial program to encourage rental housing by giving developers density. It looks as though there will be a large courtyard in the middle. I’d like to show designs but there aren’t any on the city’s list of development projects or on Acton Ostry’s. All that’s available publicly is this.

You might think the community would be up in arms over this. STIR projects have been generating backlash in the West End. And this is blocks away from the site of the social-housing tower that prompted huge neighbourhood resistance — enough that council lopped off three floors.

But not a word.  It sounds as though it’s partly because city planners have been working with the Mount Pleasant community on this. Mount Pleasant did get, three years ago, the much-coveted chance for a re-visioning of the whole neighbourhood — the kind of thing that the West End and Marpole have been asking for as they resist towers there.

The planners and architects noted, for instance, that they took four storeys off the tower already in order to respond to community reaction and so were reluctant to make the tower any higher. (They made that comment when various people on the design panel suggested the tower height should be raised to make it feel more vertical, less blocky, and to remove some bulk from the lower levels.)

That may bring positive changes — perhaps even to Kingsgate Mall, the strange little replica of a mall in Trail or Cranbrook that across the street from the project in this prime location. As architect Scott Romses said, “it’s going to be a seed for this neighbourhood, a catalyst for everything around it.”

(Thanks to J3 to pointing me to some renderings of the buildings. Here’s one link.

I have to say the project startled me. Although it looks as though it’s been designed imaginatively, it’s very different from everything else around there. There’s a lot of development at Main and Broadway these days, but it’s mainly matched the shape, height and even the dark-red brick of the famous Lee Building at the intersection. This is a big tower that will rise over everything around.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • evilfred

    “Call me a gentrifier if you must, but this project means that there will be many new people in the neighbourhood who are, for want to a better term, gainfully employed. In other words…”

    In other words, people who will raise your property values and price out all of the young renters living in the Kingsway/Fraser “Void” and Main St areas. You know, the people who give the neighbourhood character. There won’t be any “hip young artists” left to inhabit any of the buildings and the area will be left a cultural wasteland like Yaletown.

  • pacpost

    Let me add my voice to those who disagree with the nature of this project. Based on the plans at J3’s link, this building is wrong for the area. Increased density can be achieved through other means than a tall, rather massive tower.

    Outside of the downtown core, I feel we should be aiming for increased density based on a European/Montreal style of architecture. 5-8 story buildings, which will still allow for enough density to justify improved rapid transit. These ugly clumps of very high towers at irregular intervals will make Vancouver resemble parts of Los Angeles.

  • Tessa

    @Ron: I’m offended by your comment and hope to make sure everyone knows that not everyone in the community believes that people who aren’t rich shouldn’t be able to afford a home. If all the beautiful, older character homes and apartments in this area get transformed into shiny condos, people like me will have nowhere else to go, and that means people who work, go to school, support local business and culture. There are thousands of short or long-term residents who truly care about the community who will be swept up in that wave, and to call them all crackhouse patrons is incorrect and prejudice.

    If you truly want to live amongst glass towers and not have to deal with poorer neighbours, I’m sure there’s a vacancy in False Creek North.

  • Tiktaalik

    Count me as a strong detractor of Ron’s vile viewpoint.

  • Tessa

    Also, @FrancesBula,

    I don’t think everyone is so thrilled at all the old things being torn down. Yes, there’s a lot of things in the area that people won’t miss (the old car dealerships along kingsway for one), and some level of redevelopment is a good thing and people recognize that, but there’s also a lot of people who are concerned the soul of the neighbourhood will be lost if we go too fast.

    It’s the same with how the neighbourhood is now being called SoMa instead of Mount Pleasant, its historic name. Mount Pleasant is a distinct place unique in Vancouver – a historical community. SoMa, on the other hand, is a borrowed phrase from other cities in other countries used as a marketing real-estate term designed specifically to break with that history and that sense of unique place. It’s not even geographically accurate: Main and Broadway is hardly south of anything in this city.

    I, for one, will stick to the historic name.

  • Frances Bula

    @Tessa. Actually, Soma was first used by the little restaurant that was one of the first of the hipster establishments to move in on Main. It was picked up by the realtors later. I don’t actually hear people use it much any more. I used it because it was short and so fit into the amount of room I had for my headline bar.

    Anyway, I agree, not everyone is uniformly delighted about everything coming down. I for one still mourn the worker cabins inhabited by the anarchists on Watson, which always had amazing Christmas decorations. (Gone in the fire of 2002? 2003?) I even kind of miss that grubby office building at Quebec and Broadway. I also dread the day that all the auto-repair shops around here are gentrified. I don’t even mind the car dealerships.

    But I would say that people in this neighbourhood are not as attached to every scrap and post the way the West End is, for example.

  • Lee

    @Ron
    I don’t mind your language, but I think you miss the primary bone of contention, 26 storeys! In Mount Pleasant! This Vancouver planning department and Council have been sold the idea by slick, very rich developers that massive towers are NEEDED to achieve ambitious density goals, and that they will add prestige and architectural character to the city. Citizens concerns for traditional style and liveability are going unheard, all over the city.

  • Lewis N. Villegas

    The most difficult part of an urban design process may be identifying the building types necessary to hang on to what Tessa has eloquently called “the soul of the neighbourhood”. However, the procedure is very easy to outline. It consists of identifying a handful of building types, zoning which areas will receive said building types, and adding up the resulting intensification at full build out.

    Process completed, I can guarantee you no one will see any need to build a single tower in order to achieve “sustainable neighbourhood densities”.

    Along the way we will have divorced ourselves of the biggest lie, namely the one that we need to build towers in order to add density; do sustainability; make profits—make that ‘stand to make inordinate profits’—etc.

    The fact is that towers depress the density achievable on lots adjacent. Towers represent a “spike” in build out. The benefits accrue to one site and one site only. Competitive advantage is is taken away from neighbouring sites. No one will build next to a tower; across the street from a tower; etc.

    “Tower Spacing” becomes the second cypher in a two dimensional tower urbanism where the first cypher—always—is counting typical floors.

    BUILDING TYPES

    (1) Single bungalow on a 33 x 122.5-foot lot.

    This one remains the same. With three units per lot, the gross density achieved is an impressive 18 units/acre. The average unit size is 800 s.f. One unit has a roof deck; one unit has a front door yard; and one unit gets the rear garden. Very good stuff.

    (2) Fee simple, zero-setback house.

    The bread and butter of Vancouver quartier intensification that is still more or less prohibited by provincial or civic statute… It’s just too difficult to follow all that stuff and know which authority has jurisdiction. Suffice it to say that what makes Boston’s Beacon Hill, or Montreal’s urbanism—3.5 stories high BTW, not the 5-6 claimed above—have human-scale and be spectacular is this building type.

    This very building type that for reasons nobody knows we are not able to build here in our town.

    Density yield is 65 units/acre. Almost a four-fold intensification over Type#1. There is a front door yard; a rear yard; a garage on the rear lane; and a roof deck of embarrassingly ample dimensions.

    (3) The Lee Building. 85-foot streetwall building. Density yield here awaits modelling and design. However, its use should be restricted to north streetwalls and west streetwalls.

    (4) 50-foot streetwall. This would be the compliment to the Lee Building Type, most often built fronting the sidewalk opposite Type#3. Density here is also about 65 units/acre. There is retail on the ground floor; underground parking; and full accessibility with elevators, etc.

    (5) Special sites. The urban design plan would identify key sites in the quartier(s) that call for special buildings to act as markers and makers of place. If someone wants to plop down a tower, these sites would be the place to argue for them. However, what is really envisioned is what the OV got right. The Salt Building (monumental architecture/special site) fronting an urban room.

    Sophia Street

    As an add-on to the discussion of building types, one must recommend Sophia street to the attention of the interested urbanist. Just one block east of Watson, Sophia Street presents some remarkable variations in the platting that can teach us a lot going forward. Specifically, in a neighbourhood where lots are typically plated with a north-south orientation, Sophia has a few examples of end-grain platting. Lots that orient east-west, and front Sophia rather than turn a side onto this ever more interesting street.

    I have previously remarked about the row of cottages at 15th (east side). I am delighted to add to these a set of garden apartments at 17th (west side). Both are from the same era, easily dated to the pre-1945 period. Both merit our special attention.

    There is no point guessing what “quartier build out” might attain if we were to follow the guidelines set out by the eight principles I have recorded here. The right thing to do is to design and measure total build out as part of a quartier urban planning charrette. I am quite confident that population at full build out would be the equivalent to 26-storey towers because the infill sites are just so much more numerous than the tower sites, and—since land assembly is not required—so much easier to get done. Any developer or builder, not just the giant and the elite, would be able to partake of this process of regeneration.

    Because building types 1&2 would include “mortgage helper units”, the problem of affordable rental housing is taken care of as a function of intensification.

  • Ron

    @Lee

    I didn’t address the height issue, no. Because I don’t understand it at all. Nor will we need to. Dollars to donuts that the developer will bring out the STIR calculator at council and launch a numbers barrage at the nicer, good-thinking people here, so that council will concede only a modest reduction of floors.

    Don’t get me wrong: I think towers are grotesque and inherently unsafe and I’d never live in one, but it makes sense to build ONE here to attract a top anchor tenant in the retail below. This could act as a development magnet, not in the tear-down sense, but to eventually revitalize this neighbourhood’s retail scene. Imagine real businesses displacing the squalid drug shacks, er, convenience stores, on East Broadway between Main and Clark. I fail to see how that robs anyone of precious character. If they need more of that kind of character there’s still the Whalley flats.

  • Ron

    @ Lewis

    Very informative post, and tactful unlike me. But is there an element of wish-thinking in your postulation that affordable rental housing will occur as a result of mortgage helpers? Is it not just as likely that the 33x122ers will just see three incredibly expensive rentals instead of one?

  • Ron

    @ Tessa

    I agree about soul if by that you mean, why the heck should I have to move to Pitt Meadows. Affordability and facilitation of culture and art are indeed social boons of considerable moral weight. But this area is just too inherently valuable to keep as is, so that means densification and new buildings (which, of course, are up to code — I don’t find low water pressure or burning to death in a collapsing building a particularly charming heritage feature).

    There has to be some way to do this.

    What about rent control? Cost sharing of community space?

  • Ron

    @ Tessa

    Re my ill-tone. No offence was meant, and I am sorry it was taken.

  • Tessa

    @Ron 61/62

    Soul also means having a mix of people, income, groups, culture, but most importantly people. A place for everyone. That’s what gives this place inherent value. I’m not sure why you feel you would have to move to Pitt Meadows.

    Of course there’s going to be densification, and that’s what the social housing at Broadway and Fraser was an example of. Densification shouldn’t be contingent upon the new people moving in being owners instead of renters , and earning a salary not everyone will ever be able to attain.

    As for rent control, it’s being done, but that doesn’t help if nobody is building new affordable rental housing (or when it is proposed, it gets opposed by residents). And rent control only works in older buildings with long-term residents. If those buildings are redeveloped, we lose that housing, and people have nowhere to go.

    As for #59, if by “top anchor tenant” you mean big box chain store or grocer, I think it’s been mentioned above the community has spoken and as a group said that’s not the kind of retail scene they want to see. That’s certainly not going to help many of the smaller businesses. I agree it would be nice to see some newer tenants in some of those areas east of Prince Edward, but I don’t see how this is the kind of building to encourage that. It’s more likely to pull likely tenants away.

    As for the apology, it’s accepted, and I appreciate the gesture.

  • Tessa

    @Lewis 58

    Bravo. I quite like your idea, and I quite like the idea of doing a neighbourhood charette (specifically, one that involves local residents, not just experts. From what I’ve found most charettes in this part of the world seem to involve only experts, while when I was up north they did one involving anyone who was interested and could afford the time off to take part)

    Still, I’m not sure mortgage helpers alone would cut the affordability problem, though many of the overall units would likely be more affordable, especially if done without all the frills we often see.

  • Tessa

    @Frances Bula: very interesting tidbit of local history. I’m going to have to go and digest that for a minute.

  • Lewis N. Villegas

    “it makes sense to build ONE here to attract a top anchor tenant in the retail below. This could act as a development magnet, not in the tear-down sense, but to eventually revitalize this neighbourhood’s retail scene. Imagine real businesses displacing the squalid drug shacks, er, convenience stores, on East Broadway between Main and Clark.”

    Ron 59

    The problem with this approach, Ron, is that it is the International Village (as I commented earlier) and it doesn’t work. Here we can test options to the BiG BoX by requiring retail on Main, Broadway & Kingsway to present a syncopated frontage on the public realm (small start-up and artist spaces wrapped around large retail). We have the beginning of that already on Broadway between Cambie and Quebec, so it is not a total rethink for the developer.

    I LIKE tacky…

    “Is it not just as likely that the 33x122ers will just see three incredibly expensive rentals instead of one?”

    Ron 60

    Everything is possible. But I don’t think so, because what I’m quoting I’ve designed for friends, and it is working just as I describe it. There is a long tradition of the mortgage helper. I can be used to keep aging homeowners in the place they lived all their lives once the kids grow up and move on.

    “what I’ve found most charettes in this part of the world seem to involve only experts, while when I was up north they did one involving anyone who was interested and could afford the time off to take part…

    I’m not sure mortgage helpers alone would cut the affordability problem, though many of the overall units would likely be more affordable, especially if done without all the frills we often see.”

    Tessa 64

    Getting stakeholder participation is key, and a lot of this work happens before the charrette, and after the charrette. We’re working on it.

    The mortgage helpers are “market affordable”.

    There is the whole range of assisted and non-market housing that should also in the mix of every Vancouver quartier. However, consider that the point of the “mortgage helper” is also about the people holding the mortgage, not just the ones renting. What we are trying to do is to get people who are renting now options to own.

  • Bill McCreery

    @ Lee 45. Your dissolution is no doubt shared by many, including me. The entire process is broken & as much as I find these rich discussions to be interesting, they’re not going to materially affect what’s happening with the miriad of spot rezoning happening all over the City. Proof of that was the approval of the 1304 Hornby & W. 6th spot rezonings last week.

    Another issue which is central to these considerations is the LIFT / CAC payments. Aside from the problems resulting from the broken planning & consultation process, the City is also involved in selling instant FSR to willing takers [sort of like Socred ‘funny money’ for those who can remember that far back]. What started out as a well intended initiative to rightfully return to the City a portion of the increased land value from increases in FSR has been abused to the point, in my view, that the City appears to be in a conflict of interest. It appears they are more interested in obtaining LIFT $’s from developers than they are in conducting a proper planning / consultation / design approval / implementation process. This conflict of interest is fundamental to the disfunction of a healthy process & has spread across the City.

  • Lewis N. Villegas

    I agree, Bill.

  • Dr. Frankentower

    The MO of failed Vancouver City Planning, or

    The Neighbourhood Horrors Checklist

    *

    The proposed development at Broadway and Kingsway:

    Fails to incorporate or consult Local Area Plan (still unpublished) in development plans.

    Check.

    Fails to adequately inform local residents of planning workshops, design meetings, consultation, etc. Project seems to appear out of nowhere (thanks for informing us Frances!).

    Check.

    Grossly out of scale and character with the surrounding neighbourhood.

    Check.

    Disregard for historical plat and heritage, including the demolition of historic buildings.

    Check.

    Includes tower and podium design.

    Check.

    Tower has maximum glass exposure on all sides, requiring extra energy to heat and cool.

    Check.

    Tower blocks existing views and physically fragments neighbourhood.

    Check.

    Building density increases developer’s margins without providing meaningful community amenities or civic infrastructure.

    Check.

    Rezoning establishes a precedent for more over-height buildings on nearby blocks (Main and Broadway fire site, Kingsgate, etc.). Land-lift is Easy Money for Planning Dept. and eclipses neighbourhood visioning.

    Check.

    Inflates surrounding real estate values, residential and commercial rents (having the opposite effect to that which is intended with STIR).

    Check.

    Exceeds 1 parking space/1 unit, encouraging continued proliferation of automobile use in urban environment, and multi-car households. Full parking inclusion uniformly raises unit costs, which compromises the stated STIR goal of greater affordability.

    Check and Check Again.

    *

    In conclusion, this development scores very high on the Neighbourhood Horror Meter, and will result in another new monstrosity looming on the skyline that will haunt local residents for decades.

    Needless to say, it gets a full and ringing endorsement from Dr. Frankentower.

    Happy Halloween!

  • Westender1

    LOL – Dr. Frankentower, that was both
    a.) wonderfully witty and
    b.) sad, that it is so close to the truth.
    But you forgot:
    Obligatory symbolic tree(s) on roof of tower
    Check, x 3

  • Soma Yuppie

    A new tower won’t suck the charm and character out of the neighbourhood. The new Tim Hortons has already done that. And what idiot tagger thinks that Tim Hortons is gentrification? Then Mark’s Wearhouse is haute couture.

  • Longtime Resident

    I remember the good old days when Mount Pleasant had real character, all the prostitutes on the street corners adding charm to the area, giving friendly smiles to all the men passing by. Also the drug users occupying buildings, they give the area real soul, they were real authentic people, not the new fake yuppie condo owners with their latte breakfast and land rovers. I wish yesterday would return. Mt. Pleasant really lived up to its namesake back then.

  • MPBCN

    I’m a resident of Mount Pleasant who also attended many of the community meetings.

    To resolve the issue of building this 26 foot tower in our heritage area we as citizens must tell the Mayor and Council this is not what the community has said we want.

    @Lee provided us with the comments from the community open houses and a workshop. In the Open House questionnaire the question the citizens were asked was “Do you agree with pursuing additional density and height on the site bounded by Broadway, Kingsway, Watson, and 10th Avenue to achieve a more appropriate built form and important benefits?” I’ve read those comments and, yes, when the citizens commented on the height point they specifically said NO TOWERS, low to mid-rise (5 – 8 storeys) buildings on this site.

    We agreed that there could be more height but to a limit. The current height allowed is 3 storeys, an additional jump to 8 storeys is a huge bonus for the property owner here and they should provide huge amenities for this additional height.

    The Mount Pleasant Community Plan has not yet gone to Council for approval. It is scheduled for the Planning and Environment meeting at City Hall on November 18, 2010 at 2 pm.

    The public is allowed to speak at this meeting. If you can’t attend at least write a letter or email.

    http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/mayorcouncil/speaktocouncil.htm
    If you want to speak to Council about a specific item that is being considered at a Regular Council or Standing Committee meeting, you have the following options:
    1. Mail a written request to:
    City Clerk’s Office
    Third Floor, City Hall
    453 West 12th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4
    2. Fax your request to the City Clerk’s Office at 604.873.7419
    3. Call the City Clerk’s Office at 604.873.7276
    4. E-mail your request to mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca
    Requests to speak cannot be added to a meeting’s speakers list prior to the publication of the meeting agenda, which typically occurs one week in advance. Phone and email requests must be received the day prior for morning meetings and two hours prior for afternoon and evening meetings. Requests can be made in person up to ten minutes prior to the commencement of the meeting. If time permits, the meeting chairperson may also invite unregistered attendees to speak.
    MAKE YOURSELF HEARD NOW WHEN IT COUNTS!!!
    And to keep City Hall honest why not let us all know on Frances’s blog that “I told City Hall low to mid-rise only – NO TOWERS.”

  • scm

    great comments!
    time for us to take action beyond our words!

    no one has yet mentioned that the 26 storey tower will greatly shadow the streets and the proposed private (semi public) gardens below.

    this is a poor design by a respectfully good design firm. I bet there are as many units of rental housing on the roof of the grovesnor project at cambie, 7th and 8th. A far more inspired solution to housing (rental) on a large block required because the mayor has view corridor of the city from his office. see roof plan on google maps and aerial on bing.

    the truth is that the beautiful views that Vancouver has, are its downfall – what leads to the uninspired glass tower on a podium- to SELL the view.

    it is interesting that rize alliance does not include the project on their website as of yet – but that their portfolio is of buildings (including quebec and broadway) that generally fit into the context and are of reasonable human scale (though maybe not the recent rolston).

    the site has been on the boards for certainly 10 years – NBA before AOA….

    really no rezoning should allow more than an increase of 1 FSR…or some formula could be put forward to adhere to. planning has set precedent for allowing individual sites to upzone to such high percentage increases – that how can they ever say no to anything.

    there has been a fair amount of discussion above of appropriate massing – take a look at my favorite city, Barcelona – l’example with its unified 8 stories perimeter blocks with semi public safe courtyards and the blocks chamfered corners that can make public squares, is so dense Vancouver could only dream. note also how the architecture there is interesting without always yelling look at me (Gaudi perhaps the famous exception).

    Or Amsterdam – with housing as a right! Here however, we are owned (thanks Roger Kemble for the link to George Carlin’s rant on the American Dream – see “Downtown starts to boom…” comment 2.) If housing was a right, and government didn’t just pay lip service to it – we may all be a lot happier 🙂

    here is one RK may chuckle at.
    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7429337/?ref=nf

  • Lewis N. Villegas

    “Pleasant Community Plan has not yet gone to Council for approval. It is scheduled for the Planning and Environment meeting at City Hall on November 18, 2010 at 2 pm.”

    MPBCN

    Timely information, thank you very much… “My Public Back Yard Cable Network”? …Whomever you may be.

    Here’s the crux of it from MPBCN:

    “We agreed that there could be more height but to a limit.”

    Density & Height: That is the Question.

    The canard is that density and height are not equal. Tall buildings—like in North Shore False Creek—can be shown to under-perform in terms of density, and in terms of providing bustle, and defensible space (i.e. safe neighbourhood streets).

    Tall buildings, however, net a LOT of money to the developer and to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (i.e. our City Hall).

    Yet, Density and Height are not the same thing.

    We can do “high density” and build no higher than “3.5 storeys”. However, somewhere in the old-planning-paradigm these concrete facts were either lost, or as Dr. Frankentower might have it, “burried away”.

    It bears mentioning that if you want to do “high density with human scale”—i.e. 3.5 storey height—the kind of urban platting that would be required is precisely the kind that we have here, within Vancouver City Limits. [Oh boy!].

    Put that in your Martini and swirl it. Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C., share one thing in common: both were platted to support the very kind of urbanism we are all now calling “sustainable” as we beat our breast and wonder about the evils of the carbon economy.

    Of course, in the past century, monied interests have spread about so much public misinformation, and successfully backed so many popular political leaders, that it is hard to understand exactly how it all shakes down.
    I hope that the plethora of posts here have helped to throw some light on the issue.

    A tower in Mount Pleasant is a money play pure and simple. The interests of the community, and the future of our city, are not in that equation.

  • @scm #74 . . .

    On boy yes . . . chuckle, chuckle, chuckle . . . the korpocracy got hold of it . . .

    Architecture used to be fun

    http://theyorkshirelad.ca/8architecture/sixbuildings.html . . . amen . . .

  • motera

    Lewis N. Villegas
    If you look in all the windows of the AIBC there are clerical workers. It is an completely open plan office. Your suggestion that young architects in the windows would ‘give back to the street’ and inference that clerical workers sitting next to the window do not, is an interesting value judgment. Says a lot about you and as a result you have lost credibility with me because you have demonstrated that your are only a drive-by observer of the city, with an inflated sense of your profession.

  • Interesting the Vancouver Sun had a short piece about this plan back in mid March. But at the City’s open houses for Mount Pleasant’s Community Plan in April there was no mention of a huge tower at Broadway and Kingsway anywhere to be found. Very mysterious that no one can find plans or sketches 6 months later.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/search/Developer+pitches+tall+tower+East+Broadway+fire+site/2690948/story.html

  • mountpleasantneighbour

    I just got back to from the City Council meeting.

    The Community Plan passed. Very interesting discussion, with some particularly eloquent reasoning about how they really did tell the community that vague references to increased density actually means 26 storey highrises and that the drawings in the Community Plan that show mid-rises actually were drawings of 26 storey highrises (although if that was the case, they would have been twice as tall!).

    No density or height limit for “large sites”. It’s a free for all!

  • SeanR

    I recently checked with the city and there will be a community consultation meeting later in February. Location and date are yet to be determined.

    The primary problem with this development is the size and height. The majority of Mount Pleasant residents have no problem with development in the area if it aligns with the community feel of the area – low-rise developments of the kind recently and currently underway along Main Street. This massive development is completely out of place and against the Community Plan. It’s as simple as that. Density can increase without massive high-rise developments. Mount Pleasant already has significantly higher density than most areas in the city south of False Creek. How about rezoning more single family areas on the west-side and see how that goes down.

  • Michael B

    The long-awaited community meeting regarding the proposed development @ Kingsway and Broadway is finally happening.

    Here is the info:

    Sunday March 20th 2011. 12noon to 4:30pm at the Native Education College, 285 East 5th Avenue. Door open at 11:30 for viewing of the proposal.

    RSVP to: Nancy Wormald 604.873.7388, nancy.wormald@vancouver.ca.

    I’ve genuinely enjoyed the discourse regarding this project on this site, and sincerely hope that all those who are opposed to the scale of the development will attend the meeting and share their objections.

  • I love this building, & the fact it was built 1912 (Jantzen) – so it’s Vcr. heritage, ‘protection’ or not! As i’m on their list, i got an email from Mt. Pleasant Community group yesterday about a public workshop re. Rize Alliance’s rezoning proposal – it’s on MARCH 20TH @ Native Education College, 285 East 5th Avenue (11:30 am – 4 pm) – RSVP nancy.wormald@vancouver.ca (604.873.7388) ASAP! Let’s show we care about preserving our city’s heritage!! You can go here to download and print/distribute the notice around: http://is.gd/anhqmQ
    SEE YOU THERE! Sarah C.

  • Jay

    hmm…a community meeting and you’re only inviting those opposed to the project…